In honor of the Best of Sacramento, one of the coolest events in town that honors local restaurants and bars on November 29th, I decided to make my own little list of the “Best of the Best”. These places are my go-to favorites and they keep me coming back time after time with their fun atmospheres and delicious cuisines.
In my honest broke-college student opinion, these restaurants are the best because they are affordable which is a big concern for me. I’m not into spending tons of money on going out to dinner, unless its like David Beckham is serving it to me naked, but that’s a different story… Starting right off the top:
1. Ernesto’s- If I could eat at this place every night without popping my pants and going broke, I totally would. The atmosphere is electric, with crazy mariachi bands playing on Friday and a generally laid-back ambiance that is very welcoming. And can I mention how delish the food is? OH DEAR GOD. It can take me hours to decide what I want from that place because everything is so good. From the fajitas to the nachos or the whole bean soup, nothing will let you down.The flavors and cuisine are ten times better here than any other Mexican restaurant in town because it’s authentic. None of this American/Mexican crap. And the cocktails are lethal. Always a plus.
2. Crepeville- This is the best breakfast/lunch/dinner/late night nosh spot in Sacramento. Hands down. Nothing is more than 8 or 9 bucks and you don’t pay tip. YES! The crepes are stacked with goodness, from my favorite, the salsa crepe, to the oozing chicken pesto crepe. And the best part of the crepe dishes is that they come with a side of extra tasty red potatoes. I’ve also had their French toast which is a surprisingly fresh and natural take on the normally heavily sugared dish. And the soaps and salads are full and hearty. Dessert crepes range from the best nutella crepe, to apple crepes and strawberry crepes.
3. Jack’s Urban Eats- By far, the best place to go if you want an easy and fast dinner. While the prices are a bit high, you definitely get you money’s worth. Their salads are the best and the sides are so mouthwatering.They also have a meat bar for sandwiches, but to be honest, I’ve never had anything from the meat station. Besides a teriyaki bowl which was really tasty. I’d recommend the fries and the garlic bread, both make good partners with their salads.
4. BoBo’s Cafe- This is way outside of downtown, near my childhood neighborhood. I remember coming to this Vietnamese restaurant every week when I was young. I’d always get the fresh spring rolls, the Pho soup (combination of beef meatballs, rice noodles and cilantro), and a strawberry soda. Quick and cheap, this is the best Vietnamese place in Sacramento.
5. Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant- Be prepared to eat when you come here. Seriously. Even though the general meal costs about 30 dollars, you get a couple of appetizers including wonderful bread and a delicious carrot-puff pastry. Next up is a lentil soup, which was probably the best I ever had. Chicken kabobs with cous cous and yogurt are normal main courses. And ending the meal is sweet tea along with homemade Baklava. The people are really friendly, and did I mention that there was belly-dancing? The experience is worth every penny.
6. Ettore’s- Honestly, I come here for the dessert and pastries. It’s my go to for a sweet fix. If I gave in to my sugarholic ways, I’d eat here every day. The fruit basket cake is fantastic, and so is the Kahlua Cake. You can’t go wrong here for sweet stuff.
7. Dos Coyotes- Fast, cheap, and probably the best burrito in town. Fresh blac beans mixed with cilantro and guacomole. It’s all I need. Forget Chipotle or Taco Bell, this is my idea of great fast food. Plus, the salsa is seriously addicting. Most everything on the menu costs about 5 to 8 bucks. And you always get a side of fresh chips.
8. Paesano’s- All of their pizza is really good (My favorite is the Margherita) and they have a wide range of drinks, from beer to cocktails. Their Bellini is really good, and you can’t go wrong with their fried ravioli. This cute little pizzeria has a nice cozy atmostphere and is always busy, so be prepared to wait for a table.
9. Mikuni’s- The sushi is really good here, but honestly you come for the environment. Sit back with some Sake and miso soup and just people-watch. Tons of young people fill the bar and it’s always busy. The tempura is good here, nice and crunchy. I’m a sucker for their little meal boxes though. They are affordable and give you a taste of everything.
10. Cornerstone- Cheap, cheap, CHEAP breakfast place. I used to come here with my mom and get the best pancakes ever for barely 5 bucks. The biscuits and gravy are really good too, but I am a sucker for their french toast.
Phew. I am hungry now. The questions is, where should I go?